Updated in print and online, 1/21
Absolute Bagels was shut down by the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene last week after an inspection revealed live roaches, flies, and evidence of mice in the popular Upper West Side bagel joint.
The inspection Thursday totaled a massive 73 violation points at Absolute, on Broadway between 107th and 108th streets. A score of 28 or more points translates to a “C” grade.
Besides “evidence of mice or live mice,” roaches, and flies, the inspection report, released Sunday, also details improper cooking techniques, such as cold food being held at too high a temperature and contaminated food.
The store’s shutters were pulled halfway down over the weekend, with a sign reading “We will be back on Wednesday” displayed on the door. While lines of hungry customers often stretch out the door and onto the sidewalk on weekend mornings, on Saturday, only a few pedestrians stopped by to gaze at the storefront.
On Monday, an employee at the store who only gave the name John said workers were improving Absolute.
“We’re just renovating, cleaning, fixing things,” he said. “We’re cleaning up and renovating the holes and everything ... it’s getting old,” he said.
Management could not be reached for comment.
This isn’t the first time Absolute has run into trouble with the health department. An inspection on Aug. 21 also revealed vermin and improper refrigeration, but only totaled 38 points, leading to a “grade pending” rating.
Other Broadway restaurants have also been shuttered in recent days, including M2M Mart at 115th Street, which racked up 90 points for similar violations on Thursday.
Students were divided Monday about whether they planned to return to Absolute.
“Honestly, I’m kind of depressed right now because that place was the shit,” said Noah Stebbins, SEAS ’16, who said he usually eats there once a month.
“I think when they reopen, they should be inspected really closely,” he said. “I would only go there in the future if they get an A for sanitation.”
Nana Abrefah, CC ’16, called the inspection report “disconcerting.”
“It’s a good thing I only went there once,” he said, adding that he would only go back “after some time.”
Sam Nicoll, CC ’15, said he had a bagel there “once every week or two.”
“I never noticed ... I had no reason to think that [there were health violations],” he said.
Nicoll said he would probably go back, though.
“It’s still kinda THE bagel place,” he said.